Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 307–347

Case Markers as Clause Boundary Inducers in Japanese

  • Edson T. Miyamoto

DOI: 10.1023/A:1019540324040

Cite this article as:
Miyamoto, E.T. J Psycholinguist Res (2002) 31: 307. doi:10.1023/A:1019540324040


The present paper provides evidence that the processing of verb final clauses proceeds incrementally based on local information that becomes available with each word. The results of three self-paced reading experiments are reported in support of the proposal that NPs in Japanese are associated within clauses before a verb is processed. It is argued that a clause boundary is posited whenever case markers prevent two NPs from being part of the same clause, and slow reading times at the second NP are used as supporting evidence. Moreover, clause boundaries induced by case marking can facilitate processing at later points in the sentence as attested to by faster reading times at relative-clause heads. Contrary to previous findings that argued against a subclass of head-driven parsers, the present results are not easily reconcilable with any type of model that delays parsing decisions until a verb is available in the input sentence.

incremental processing, case markers clause boundary Japanese 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edson T. Miyamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Nara Institute of Science and TechnologyGraduate School of Information ScienceIkoma, NaraJapan